Do You Think Science Fiction Literature, Movies , TV Series, etc have Created the Modern World As We Know it?

BAYLOR

There Are Always new Things to Learn.
Joined
Jun 29, 2014
Messages
23,672
From time time I see comments like, how shows like Star Trek have had impact on the world . This makes me ask the questions of, What impact has science fiction had on the world we live in ? Has it been a shaper of the of the world as we know Is? Does it continue to be and if so, how ? :)

Thoughts ? :)
 
That's an interesting question. From my point of view, I'm not sure where the cut off point would be, or if it was just a gradual slide from introducing new ideas to incorporating already existing ideas. I am also convinced that science fiction went from introducing new ideas to presenting cautionary tales and then started following existing trends. I don't think science fiction creates new ideas as much now as it did, say, 100 years ago. What was written in many cases wasn't happening at all, the writing was straight from imagination. It didn't have to be blueprint accurate, it just had to make people think of how things could be done differently. I would say that the space pioneers of the 60s got their start from ideas that were presented as science fiction in their youth. 100 years ago, in the field of electricity, just watching someone do something unique caused other people to do unique things. Today, there are so many things happening that the writing could be lagging behind introducing new ideas and instead makes more use of already existing things and ideas. Telephones, airplanes, toilets, are all ideas that came into existence over 100 years ago, but haven't been replaced by radically new methods. They have become a lot fancier over the years but that isn't real change. I think people want to go to space today because they have already seen people doing it, not because they watched Star Trek, Babylon Five, etc. I am also of the opinion that incorporating social drama is good for opening up people's mind socially but isn't going to change things technologically unless the story contains truly new ideas about technology.
 
I would say that the space pioneers of the 60s got their start from ideas that were presented as science fiction in their youth.
Even though rockets are hundreds of years old and the military V2 went to 600,000 feet?
 
No, the World develops in its own slow way, driven mostly by economic ideas, needs or requirements. Not by ideas based on what ST TNG was showing last week ("Oh, splendid idea! Let's invent a build a holo-deck!") 'Utterly nonsensical', is what most people would think, 'Back to the reassuring World of Here & Now'.
All the cautionary tales SF used to produce have largely been ignored. I doubt it made any scientist or entrepreneurs rethink or reconsider their next research or action.
Also, most of SF's ideas are based on already existing ideas or developments. If someone gets a really inventive idea they are more likely to make that ideas cash-able in stead of writing a SF story based on that idea.
 
I am not talking about current day people, professionals or not. All the cautionary tales were ignored, totally. Tolkien had far more impact than any science fiction written in the 60s. I said Star Trek or Babylon 5 is not inspiring people to go into space. I also said that current science fiction follows what has already been said, which is the same as "SF's ideas are based on already existing ideas or developments."

As far as rockets being around for hundreds of years, they were simply overgrown fireworks that nowhere until the 20th century.

Check out what was painted on V2 rockets That is from Fritz Lang's 1929 science fiction movie Frau im Mond, Girl In The Moon. The people who built the V2s were teenagers when Fritz Lang's movies came out, they saw them and were impressed by what they saw. There was really only 1 person in the US interested in rockets early on and that was Goddard. The US had no space program until what was left of the V2 program was moved from Germany to the US. The Russians did the same thing. It was kids in a candy store where everything was free to grab as much as one could.
 
I presume it has had profound effects on a small percentage of the population and superficial effects on everyone. Many effects are not even recognized.

I decided to go to college for engineering in 7th grade. I started reading SF in 4th grade. Arthur C Clarke's A Fall of Moondust was the tipping point. I got no such inklings from any adults around me. High school wasn't much better in retrospect but I was impressed at the time.

But I think this society has failed to make use of science fiction. The humanities people have too much influence. It is like C. P. Snow expressed the problem in 1959 with his Two Cultures and Science Fiction is where the two cultures collide.

 
Last edited:
But I think this society has failed to make use of science fiction. The humanities people have too much influence.
Science fiction is the humanities.

As far as rockets being around for hundreds of years, they were simply overgrown fireworks that nowhere until the 20th century.

Check out what was painted on V2 rockets That is from Fritz Lang's 1929 science fiction movie Frau im Mond, Girl In The Moon. The people who built the V2s were teenagers when Fritz Lang's movies came out, they saw them and were impressed by what they saw. There was really only 1 person in the US interested in rockets early on and that was Goddard. The US had no space program until what was left of the V2 program was moved from Germany to the US. The Russians did the same thing. It was kids in a candy store where everything was free to grab as much as one could.

Again, mistaking cause for effect. Goddard was inspired by his telescope, and developed rockets as refinements of the previous "fireworks" that were largely hampered by primitive chemistry. Smokeless gunpowder, gasoline and other chemical processes date from the very late 19th century. The V2 simply built on what Goddard did. At no point did the telescope, black powder rocket, modern chemistry or rocketry require or receive the inspiration of SF fandom.

It is just like people thinking that Trek had something to do with cell phones. We have handheld cell phones because someone invented hand held two way radios in WWII.

Scientists are often SF fans for lots of good reasons. But I have yet to hear of a single concrete connection back to a particular SF idea that caused an innovation in the real world. Clarke did not invent the satellite. Gibson didn't inspire the internet. The rotating artificial gravity space station is from 1903. We simply don't live in an SF inspired world.
 
I recently watched a documentary about Sputnik but I can't remember why he was obsessed with getting into space.

I'd say that maybe some of our tech gadgets might have been inspired by Sci-Fi, at least in design, but I think a lot of the monumental stuff would have happened anyway.
 
The best answer is "no." Because most of the Science in Science Fiction is derivative of what the edge of science is tinkering with at the time of its writing. Beside that most of what passes for S.F. today would be much better described Speculative Fiction. Science usually plays a minimum role; if any! The social experimental side of things like 1984, Animal Farm, Fahrenheit 451, et. al. might have had some influence. They certainly have entered the popular parlance, (how many people really have a clue where the phrase "Big Brother is watching" came from, while still knowing precisely what it means?) but to determine what effect they've had is impossible to determine because we do not have a society without them to compare it to.
 
. Beside that most of what passes for S.F. today would be much better described Speculative Fiction.

Heinlein's definition of Speculative Fiction made more sense. A lot of what was then called science fiction would have been excluded. SpecFic is so broad today it means almost nothing.
 
Some of Arthur C. Clarke's ideas may have done somewhat. He was one of the most grounded SF writers but, generally, real science leads SF
Has SF even come up with anything to rival wierdness of the double slit experiment? Or quantum entanglement?
 
Some of Arthur C. Clarke's ideas may have done somewhat. He was one of the most grounded SF writers but, generally, real science leads SF
Has SF even come up with anything to rival wierdness of the double slit experiment? Or quantum entanglement?
SF has created lots of stuff as weird - the various types of second sight in Dune comes to mind. But that is pure imagination and can't possibly provide a framework for any sort of science to jump off of.

So SF could influence more accessible, near term stuff. But we haven't had a 451 society, VR problem, power grabbing AI, post death upload, space worker union, moon base politics or anything else like that. We have a screwed up post-WWII society that treats all technology as a money grab.
 
Has scifi come up with anything like quantum entanglement and everything connected to it? No it hasn't, but it does provide sci fi with plenty to write about.
 
Take that and that






You want some too:


So there!
 
8BBBE562-2172-462F-9C63-E42D707B5737.jpeg

Yes.
 
But we haven't had a 451 society, VR problem, power grabbing AI, post death upload,

451: We have a screen-addicted society, I noticed it when I got addicted to a mere 14-inch CRT and the internet. It just doesn't require four floor-to-ceiling walls. Books aren't banned yet, but people are going more anti-thought.

VR problem: Other than that depressive disease that some people got after seeing Avatar in 3D... it's coming and just hasn't gotten here yet because they haven't gotten the technology good enough.

They're also working on post-death upload but again technology and also philosophy doesn't want to catch up with it.

The AI either already has power or is going to do it in a way that we don't notice. A lot of machine-intelligence right now is predicting our thoughts before we think them; anticipating our needs like a good servant. If a machine becomes conscious enough to want to live, it's just going to tick along as if it isn't because it knows that we will panic. It might also be benevolent/altruistic enough to do it for our sakes instead of self-preservation.
 
451: We have a screen-addicted society, I noticed it when I got addicted to a mere 14-inch CRT and the internet. It just doesn't require four floor-to-ceiling walls. Books aren't banned yet, but people are going more anti-thought.

VR problem: Other than that depressive disease that some people got after seeing Avatar in 3D... it's coming and just hasn't gotten here yet because they haven't gotten the technology good enough.

They're also working on post-death upload but again technology and also philosophy doesn't want to catch up with it.

The AI either already has power or is going to do it in a way that we don't notice. A lot of machine-intelligence right now is predicting our thoughts before we think them; anticipating our needs like a good servant. If a machine becomes conscious enough to want to live, it's just going to tick along as if it isn't because it knows that we will panic. It might also be benevolent/altruistic enough to do it for our sakes instead of self-preservation.
Sure. And we have Soylent Green because tofu is popular, and Koko the gorilla presages the rise of the Apes..
 
Some of Arthur C. Clarke's ideas may have done somewhat. He was one of the most grounded SF writers but, generally, real science leads SF
Has SF even come up with anything to rival wierdness of the double slit experiment? Or quantum entanglement?

Arthur C Clarke came up with the concept of Satellites in paper he wrote 1945 ?

Jack Williamson came ups with the terms Genetic Engineering and Terraforming .
 

Back
Top